Lindsay Draper ’16 M.S.N., M.B.A., ’19 D.N.P. completed her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2009, returned to complete two master’s degrees in 2016 and a doctorate in 2019, and then joined the faculty. She says it’s the faculty that keeps her going in her new School of Nursing role.
“The faculty were so supportive when I was a student,” Draper says. “At the end of my D.N.P. (Doctor of Nursing Practice) program, a faculty member reached out to me and suggested that I take a part-time clinical position.”
At the time, Draper was not only a student but a staff nurse for Cone Health, where she’d been taking on increasingly challenging leadership roles for nine years.
“My experience as a part-time faculty member really offered a glimpse into working in academia, and the faculty helped to mentor me through my transition here,” Draper says. “I hope to be able to do that same thing for someone else.”
Over her past four years at UNCG, Draper has created many of these opportunities. After a semester as an instructor, she became a clinical assistant professor of adult health, then served as associate head of two departments, Adult Health Nursing and Family and Community Nursing.
Stepping Into a New Role
Now, as the director of faculty credentialing, compliance and special initiatives, Draper not only mentors, but she also leads the onboarding, orientation and mentoring program for those newly joining the school.
Draper also ensures that the entire faculty complies with requirements set by accrediting bodies, the North Carolina Board of Nursing, the University, and the clinics where faculty members teach.
In addition, she spearheads special initiatives. The first is a virtual reality program kicking off in Fall 2023.
Meanwhile, Draper continues to serve on the nursing faculty, teaching graduate-level courses for those working toward earning their master’s or doctorate in nursing practice degrees.
She’s also part of a team writing three OpenStax books on nursing fundamentals, nursing skills and medical surgical nursing. OpenStax is a nonprofit organization that creates peer-reviewed, openly licensed textbooks, available digitally for free and in print at low cost.
“These are designed to be high-quality educational resources that make learning more accessible to nursing students across the nation,” Draper says.
Improving Student + Faculty Experience
Meanwhile, Draper believes that the virtual reality initiative she’s helped plan will enhance nursing students’ experience at UNCG.
“We’re super excited to be able to offer VR to our students beginning this semester, and we think it’ll have a significant impact on their learning, clinical judgment and readiness for clinical practice,” Draper says. “VR offers a simulated clinical experience and environment for students to practice their skills and repeat their scenarios until they gain confidence and competency.”
Similarly, Draper hopes that new faculty members gain confidence through the school’s onboarding, orientation and mentoring programs.
“Once new faculty are hired, I’m one of the first people to contact them and extend a warm welcome to our School of Nursing and their new academic home,” Draper says. “We’ve really tried to stress that they are now part of the family. We want to set that tone before they even get here.”
It’s a Family Affair
At work, Draper keeps a full plate, just as she does at home. She is raising triplets who she believes are gaining from her affiliation with UNCG.
“Taylor and Mackenzie came to campus this summer to help me relocate office spaces, while Cooper was attending the UNCG soccer camp,” Draper says. “I’ve promised him I would bring him over to the nursing building sometime and show him our simulation spaces and body organs and all that fun stuff!”
As she encourages her children’s enthusiasm for UNCG, Draper continues to grow her own enthusiasm for the university — and she doesn’t plan to leave anytime soon.
“I’m firmly rooted here and committed to what we do to provide an outstanding education to our nursing students,” she says. “In five years, I hope to still be leading the School of Nursing in some capacity and continuing to make an impact on the nursing profession.”
Story by Dee Shore, AMBCopy
Photography by Sean Norona, University Communications
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